Synopses & Reviews
In the early 1770s, the men who invented America were living quiet, provincial lives in the rustic backwaters of the New World, devoted primarily to family, craft, and the private pursuit of wealth and happiness. None set out to become “revolutionary” by ambition, but when events in Boston escalated, they found themselves thrust into a crisis that moved quickly from protest to war. InRevolutionaries
, Jack Rakove shows how the private lives of these men were suddenly transformed into public careershow Washington became a strategist, Franklin a pioneering cultural diplomat, Madison a sophisticated constitutional thinker, and Hamilton a brilliant policymaker.
From the Boston Tea Party to the First Continental Congress, from Trenton to Valley Forge, from the ratification of the Constitution to the disputes that led to our two-party system, Rakove explores the competing views of politics, war, diplomacy, and society that shaped our nation. We see the founders before they were fully formed leaders, ordinary men who became extraordinary, altered by history.
From the first shots fired at Lexington to the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, Ellis guides readers through the decisive issues of the nation's founding. The author strips the mythic veneer of America's iconic founders to reveal men possessed of both brilliance and blindness.
About the Author
JACK RAKOVE, the William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies and a professor of political science at Stanford University, is one the most distinguished historians of the early American republic. He is the author of, among other books, Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997. He frequently writes op-ed articles for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other major newspapers. He has been an expert witness in Indian land claims litigation and has testified in Congress on impeachment.